Monthly Archives: January 2015

With Much Hope

February 2015 Devotion

With Much Hope

by

Rev. Dr. Judy Baumgartner

 

Hope is a powerful weapon in the arsenal of the Christian warrior. It enables us to see that our problems, regardless of size, are within the power of the Almighty. Further, we remember that God loves us during our worst possible moments. This is not an ignorant wish for a better day, but rather an understanding that God is in control of our lives.

 

         “My comfort in my suffering is this: Your promise preserves my life.” (Psa. 119:50, NIV)

 

I am more than familiar with pain. Bone cancer can be excruciating; yet, through these harsh moments, I have been able to remember that my anguish has a divine purpose. In my opinion, if one can keep this hope in God’s love, any obstacle can be overcome. I am learning to celebrate the fruitfulness, which accompanies this suffering.

 

“we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.” (Rom. 5:3-5, NIV)

 

Beloved, all of us face difficulties throughout our days. God does not promise to spare us from these tribulations; however, His love will never depart from our lives. This is an eternal hope that enables our confidence in His power. Therefore, I am neither optimistic nor pessimistic but rather “Christomistic.” What does that mean? Whatsoever each day brings, Jesus will enable me to stand by His power. May God’s peace brighten your day!

 

Lord, You are the Light in the darkness of our days; You are the Joy in our bleakest of times. May we always remember that You carry us when we cannot continue our walk in this world. In Your mighty name we pray. Amen!

Discoveries Within The Facets

By Rev. Dr. Judy Baumgartner

One of the best parts of Bible study is exploring something new. As we grow in Christian maturity, we discover passages in the Bible that directly address our difficulties. Although we may have previously read the verses, something new seems to jump from the pages.   I love these discoveries in God’s Word.

 

“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.” (Matt. 13:45-46, NIV)

 

I was walking in the mall a few days ago when I saw an employee in the jewelry shop beaming as he gazed into his magnifier. I knew that he had discovered something amazing. Since the store was empty, I decided to ask him what he had seen. Within moments, he was delightfully showing me his discovery. He had found a special hidden laser etching on his Rolex watch. Although he had worked with fine jewelry for many years, this excited him.

 

“Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law. I am a stranger on earth; do not hide your commands from me. My soul is consumed with longing for your laws at all times.” (Psa. 119:18-20, NIV)

 

Like the jeweler, the psalmist had discovered that the Bible is an incredible treasure. Within the facets of its passages, awesome discoveries are made. Indeed, it is vast enough for an entire lifetime of exploration. It is far better than a simple watch or an incredible pearl.

 

Personal Bible study is not supposed to be a monotonous daily chore, but an incredible intimate interaction with the Almighty as He reveals things to us that are not obvious within the passages. I appreciate good cooking, and I enjoy making my own kitchen discoveries. Still, it is better when a gourmet chef shares his or her secrets with us. May our time of personal Bible study be more wonderful than an afternoon with Julia Child.

 

Lord, we want to grow deeper in the knowledge of You and Your ways. May our priority of the day be time spent with You and Your Word. In Your mighty name we pray. Amen!